About The Surgeon’s House – Rimini
The Surgeon’s House (Domus del Chirurgo) in Rimini, Italy, is an archaeological site known locally as “little Pompeii”.
History of the Surgeon’s House
Spanning an area of over 700 square metres, the Surgeon’s House is a collection of archaeological sites discovered in 1998 and excavated over the course of almost a decade.
This site is known as “The Surgeon’s House” due to its main find, the second century AD home of an ancient Roman doctor by the name of Eutyches. Over 150 medical instruments were found among the ruins (housed in the museum) together with the remains of the building itself, which was two storeys high with baked clay walls. Excavations show it had a triclinium (dining room), cubiculum (bedroom) and two living rooms, one of which would have effectively been a room for surgery and or recovery for the doctor’s patients.
The house would have had intricate mosaics decorating its interior, as well as its own latrine and heated area. The remains show the high status and wealth of Eutyches.
Raids by Germanic tribes during the reign of Emperor Gallienus saw the house ravaged and razed to the ground by fire in the 2nd or 3rd century AD.
However, beyond the actual “Surgeon’s House” there are other notable historic ruins at this site. One such building is known as the Palace of Late Antiquity and was built sometime after 260 AD. The extensive ruins of this site, which include several rooms and a sophisticated heating system, indicate that it would have been the lavish home of a lord or “dominus” although it was entirely abandoned by the fifth century.
The Surgeon’s House today
The displays at the Surgeon’s House also look at the site post the 5th century AD, when it was used as a Christian cemetery. Visitors can even see exposed graves and tombs with bodies still inside. This was an active cemetery until the 7th century.
The house is closed on Mondays, and between 1 and 3pm. Late openings happen on Wednesday evenings in the summer, when the house is open between 9 and 11pm.
Getting to the Surgeon’s House
The ruins of the Surgeon’s House are in the centre of Rimini: parking is scarce in the narrow streets, so you’re best off parking outside the city and making your way in via public transport or on foot. Bus route 1 stops at the Piazza Ducala, a 3 minute walk away, otherwise Rimini’s other attractions are minutes walk away.